Which Republican Candidate Would Be Best For America?

by Ben Hoffman

Republicans To Debate On Monday, June 13, 2011.

We have an election coming up next fall and Republicans are meeting tomorrow for the first New Hampshire debate. Several candidates are fairly well known. Mitt Romney ran in 2008, as did Ron Paul. Businessman Herman Cain may be the least well known, but most of us have heard of Godfather’s Pizza. Whether or not you’ve tried their pizza may play a factor in your opinion of Cain. He’s also African-American, which makes a difference to a fairly large segment of the population.

Background on our current situation
The Great Recession began in December of 2007 and while some consider it to be technically over, we still have high unemployment (8.7% as of May 2011) and tepid domestic job creation. The U.S. federal debt stands at well over $14 trillion. The projected 2011 deficit for 2011 is $1.645 trillion. Obviously, our current economic policies aren’t working.
We’re involved in several major conflicts around the world. Our occupation of Iraq is winding down. There don’t seem to be any well defined goals for Afghanistan at this point and after 10 years, we may have to just call it a stalemate. We’re now leading the U.N. effort in Libya at a cost to the U.S. rapidly approaching a billion dollars.

The election next year presents us with the oportunity to change our nation’s path.

Candidates
The candidates participating in tomorrow’s debate will be Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, businessman Herman Cain, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.
Sarah Palin and Rudy Giuliani, who ranked highest among potential candidates in a recent CNN poll, turned down the offer to participate in the debate and have not yet thrown their hats into the ring.

Who is best for America?
We’re looking at policy in this analysis — not personality. We need someone who will lead us back to prosperity and what was known as American Exceptionalism. So here we go (in alphabetical order).

  • Michelle Bachmann
    Michelle Bachman has been a Representative from Minnesota since 2007. She’s known as a Tea Party conservative and is founder of the Tea Party Caucus, which means her ideas for America amount to low taxes and low spending. Although its members claim to be committed to low spending, Bachmann’s caucus, which had its first meeting less than six months ago, has already cost our country over a billion dollars in earmarks (Source).
    Bachmann voted against the College Cost Reduction and Access Act, which makes higher education more affordable. She also favors the teaching of intelligent design as science.
    There is much, much more to be said about Michelle Bachmann, but not much of it is good. Teaching religion as science would be bad for America. Making education more affordable is good for America, but she voted against it. And she’s a hypocrite when it comes to government spending. Bachmann as President would be catastrophic for America.
  • Herman Cain
    Cain is another cut taxes/cut spending Republican. He also seems to be a pathological liar. He blames the massive debt on liberal polices (Source). We had a balanced budget before the deregulation of 1999 and 2000 (signed by Clinton, but conservative policies just the same) and the irresponsible tax cuts of 2001 and 2003. Our debt tripled under Reagan’s conservative policies and doubled under George W. Bush’s policies. Our economy nearly collapsed due to the deregulation that caused the housing bubble and its inevitable bust.
    You can’t fix the problems facing America by lying about them.
  • Newt Gingrich
    Gingrich was a co-author of the 1994 Contract with America, which laid out goals for reducing government spending and corruption, but did little to reduce either. Under Gingrich, we did achieve Welfare reform, which reduced the cycle of dependency. His Tax Relief Act cut capital gains taxes to the point where today, rich investors like Warren Buffet have a lower tax rate than their secretaries. Those tax cuts have contributed to our current massive deficits. Gingrich shut down the government in a response to Bill Clinton’s agenda to provide more funding for education, the environment, and public health.
    Relatively speaking, considering the radical nature of today’s Republican party, Gingrich is one of the more moderate candidates.
  • Ron Paul
    Ron Paul is one of the most honorable Republicans in office today. He is the author of several books and truly believes in the principles laid out by Ayn Rand — so much that he named his son ‘Rand.’ Ron Paul was one of the few Congressmen who voted against the Iraq War Resolution. He adheres deeply to Austrian school economics, which basically advocates for a free market economy.
    While Paul is sincere in his ideology, he lives in a mythical world where businesses behave in the best interest of the economy. Even Alan Greenspan has admitted that the market doesn’t behave rationally when left to its own devices.
  • Tim Pawlenty
    As governor, Pawlenty approved funding for the Northstar Commuter rail line, as well as for the expansion of several universities. He used federal stimulus money to support financial aid for students but despite that, overall funding for higher education was reduced.
    Pawlenty is the one to watch in this election. He is more moderate than the other candidates and does not see tax cuts and government spending cuts as the solution to everything.
  • Mitt Romney
    Romney is probably the brightest of the lot. He signed into law the Massachusetts health care reform legislation, which provided near-universal health insurance access via subsidies and state-level mandates and was the first of its kind in the nation. It’s also the model on which the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as ObamaCare, is based. He did, however, cut state funding for higher education by $140 million, which led state-run colleges and universities to increase tuition by 63 percent over four years (Source). Romney was lucky enough to have been born into a wealthy family. Many people are not so lucky.
    Cutting funding for higher education is bad for America. The more educated our populace, the more we can achieve.
  • Rick Santorum
    Santorum is one of the few people on earth who believes we found WMDs in Iraq (Source). Santorum doesn’t believe in evolution and thinks intelligent design should be taught as science (Source). He was also one of the most corrupt Congressmen (Source).

Conclusion
And so, what does that leave us with when trying to decide which Republican candidate is best for America? If we only consider the sane candidates, that eliminates Bachmann and Santorum. Romney and Pawlenty are probably the brightest and most likely to do what’s in the best interest of our country, rather than what fits the conservative ideology.

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